Heritage strategy consultation opens

Published on July 30, 2021

Mauri stone Alexander Library

Blessed and unveiled in 2016, Te Toka Tū o Pukenamu rests in the entranceway to the Alexander Heritage Library Te Rerenga mai o te Kāuru. As guardian of Pukenamu, it connects the historic building with its immediate surroundings, and with the wider Whanganui district and its rich heritage presence.

Whanganui District Council’s draft ten-year heritage strategy is out for public consultation until Sunday, 12 September.

The council’s heritage advisor, Scott Flutey, says, “We used discussions from stakeholder meetings and responses to our late 2020 heritage survey to guide the writing of the draft strategy.

“Before the final document is written we’d like feedback from the community once more, whether it’s to tell us we’re on the right track or to share new insights.”

Scott Flutey says the document is an important step for Whanganui because it’s the first time we will have a broad strategy for the sector.

“It’s vital we create the strategy together to set a vision for Whanganui as a district that values, protects and promotes its historic heritage and to map the action we are going to take to achieve Whanganui’s heritage goals over the next decade.”

He says the strategy acknowledges a wide-ranging presence of heritage values in Whanganui. Its action plan is oriented towards historic heritage assets like buildings, structures and features.

Earthquake-prone buildings are a major issue for the regions, particularly in Whanganui where so much of the historical fabric has survived and is still in use, and the action plan will allow the council and owners to work through this issue more effectively.

“There are challenges but also lots of exciting opportunities, particularly for making local stories more visible,” Scott Flutey says.

“We’re mindful that there are multiple layers of history in Whanganui and we’ve been working with hapū and other stakeholder groups to identify stories that are appropriate to share in the public realm.”

He says he envisages that in the near future augmented reality technology will be used to engage people with our local stories, with an app to use to tour local heritage sites.

“This document is relevant to us all because well-managed heritage informs a sense of place and contributes to wellbeing – so make sure you read the draft strategy and let us know your thoughts.”

To make a submission online, go to the ‘Have Your Say’ section of the Whanganui District Council website. You can also pick up a hard copy submission form from the council building at 101 Guyton Street or the Davis and Gonville libraries.




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